Artist’s Choice, Hopewell Valley Senior Citizens

Ox:   George and his Senior Officers

About the Artist

Artists’ Choice is a senior group who meet weekly to paint and discuss art related topics.  Members include Bob Barish, Penny Denechaud, Susan Ewart, Norm Fesmire, Dorothy Friedman, Bee Hilton and Gloria Panebianco.  Bob and Susan are the facilitators, who presented a group project featuring a design theme of George Washington and The Continental Army relating to the historic significance of our community.

Bob Barish, has been interested in art, with his earliest recollections from the Jon Gnagy TV show, “Learn to Draw” in the mid 1950’s in Newark, NJ.  Having graduated from the University of the Arts, he continues to this day fully committed to his art and photography, serving as Board Member of Artsbridge, Coordinator of the “River Rats” plein aire painting group and as Co-Facilitator of the Hopewell Township Senior Citizen art program.   Many of his landscape paintings are the local sites and compositions of the Delaware Valley.   His paintings are currently on display at Ellarslie, The City Museum of Trenton, and The Lawrence Gallery, Lawrence, NJ.  Bob and his wife, Norene have lived in Pennington since 2004.  Bob’s work can be seen at

Pennie Denechaud, originally from Massachusetts, moved to Hopewell Township 36 years ago. From a family of artists, only one of whom worked as a professional, the remaining members devoted their lives to other jobs but used art as an avocation. When retiring from teaching after thirty years, art was one of the things which held a lot of interest. Finding the art group in Pennington was a gift which allowed for a meeting place with people using different media and offered expert advice to help rekindle an old and rusty talent.

Susan Ewart is a local Pennington, New Jersey artist who enjoys painting in watercolors and acrylics. All subject matter is of interest to her as she tries to create an exciting interpretation of the subject. Susan has been painting in watercolors for many years and has studied with well known watercolor artists – Mel Stabin, George James, Janet Walsh, Roberta Carter Clark, Joe Popadicks, Dolores Ziegler and Judi Wagner. Susan is a full member of the Garden State Watercolor Society, Watercolorists Unlimited and is a member of Artsbridge in Lambertville. She has exhibited her work at Garden State Watercolor Shows, The Medical Center at Princeton, Cranbury Station Gallery, the Hopewell Valley Board of Education Office and the Mercer County Library at Hopewell Township. View more of Susan’s work –

Norman Fesmire has lived in Pennington since 1970.  He is retired from a consultancy with Sumitomo Corporation of America as the on-site Director of the installation of an Automated People Mover System under Dulles International Airport.  He was also Managing Director of a joint venture between AAI Corp., a defense contractor, and Skoda, an old line Czech manufacturer, for the manufacture of trolley buses for San Francisco MUNI.  He is primarily interested in seascapes and grandchildren for painting subjects.  He and his wife, Georgia, enjoy their grandchildren and traveling.

Dorothy Friedman is originally from Verona, NJ and has lived in Hopewell Township for 16 years. She is a retired business and marketing teacher and also was a buyer at a New York City department store. She enjoys reading, cooking, card games, Scrabble, and spending time with her husband, children and six grandchildren. Dorothy works in both watercolor and acrylics and her subjects vary from landscapes to celebrities.

Bee Hilton is a local artist who has been contributing to the Artists’ Choice group for several seasons.

Gloria Panebianco, her husband Sonny and daughter Linda moved from Florham Park, NJ to Pennington to be near her daughter NancyLee Matejka and her family in 1997.  Gloria is a retired secretary and has done extensive volunteer work for disability advocacy groups, including ARC Mercer.  She also volunteers with the St. James Senior Group and proofreads for various local organizations.  Gloria has been painting for many years in both acrylics and watercolors.  When she is not volunteering or painting, she enjoys spending time with her family, including five grandchildren.